New technologies offer a solution for people who do not have ready access to linguistic databases. Last year, three start-ups introduced products that translates spoken sentences directly. Consumers and business travelers can thus communicate with other citizens of the world without having to speak a different language. There is great interest in the products, but there are also pitfalls.
Avid readers of Jost Zetzsche’s Tool Box Journal already know that Zetzsche is gifted with great technical insight and the skills to write about trends and developments in the language industry in an accessible way. A selection of his publications is bundled in Translation Matters. now, a book well worth reading.
The Netherlands is only a small country on the world map, having an area of about 41,500 square kilometres and among the lowest on the list of countries compared by size. But while the Netherlands makes up only 0.008 per cent of the world’s area, Dutch is spoken by almost 400 times that percentage, making it one of the forty most spoken languages of the world. With millions of people speaking Dutch all over the world, Dutch is for sure a language with potential for companies looking for business opportunities.
The year is almost over, time to reflect on what happened in the translation industry in 2017. While the general trend of decreasing rates and technological improvements has continued to evolve over the last two years, the industry saw some remarkable developments as well. In this last blog post of 2017 I list five trends that can be seen as defining what the translation industry underwent over the year.
The last weeks of December usually bring moments of reflection, and entail making plans for the new year. This last xl8 review project of the year ends in the same fashion, with a review of five useful planners to give your translation business a boost in 2018.
Bulk discounts are a powerful way for companies to sell more of their products – often while still maintaining a fair margin. The concept is used in a variety of industries, from bikes to clothing, and from plants to light bulbs. Every now and then clients also pop up in the translation industry demanding that their vendors – translators in particular – apply a volume discount to their translations. However, if there is one concept that is not beneficial and shouldn’t be used in the translation industry, it is that of volume discounts. And here is why.
Can a robot write a book? Many readers will answer this question with a heartfelt ‘No’. Still, scientists from the Meertens Instituut and the University of Antwerp have developed a robot that can write a story. Considering the technology, the book-writing robot is even smarter than its translating brother. A gift book that was presented in The Netherlands as part of the ‘Nederland Leest’ campaign (meant to motivate old and young to read) contains a story that was largely conceived by the robot.